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6 Things You Ought To Know About Hybrid App Development

Mobile apps. There is no slowing them down. Every year there is a new app that comes around and kicks up a storm of activity on app stores. Mobile apps have become more popular and also widely used than websites or web applications. Speed, convenience, personalization — you name it, every single benefit is offered by mobile apps.

Now building a mobile app — that’s a different story. You need professionals in your team or outsource it as a project to a mobile app development company to get it done. Either way, there is one more major decision you must make to build a mobile app.

Should you opt for native mobile app development or hybrid app development?

Native app development is the traditional way. Its pros and cons are well-known. Whereas, hybrid app development, on the other hand, is often shrouded with myths and misconceptions that make businesses wary of opting for it.

Considering the many benefits that hybrid app development or cross-platform app development offers, it is worth knowing more about it. Because knowledge leads to empowered decisions.

So, here it goes. The things that you ought to know about hybrid app development.

The definition of hybrid app development
You need only one codebase
You can deliver a native app experience
It is easy to access talent
It saves a lot of money
Hybrid apps deliver superior performance

The definition of hybrid app development

Building a mobile app using a cross-platform app development framework is referred to as hybrid app development. Cross-platform app development frameworks allow developers to reuse a single code base (often up to 90% of the codebase) to build multiple apps on various mobile OS platforms. With hybrid app development, you can have iOS, Android, Windows, or other OS apps built, tested, and deployed with a single code base.

You need only one codebase

As mentioned earlier, hybrid app development facilitates code base reuse. A single code base written with the business logic and user experience in mind can be reused to build mobile apps on multiple OS. Also, the top hybrid mobile app development frameworks are built using C++, HTMLl5, JavaScript, and CSS components which makes it easier to share the code base across multiple mobile OS. The end result is that it is easier to scale the mobile app availability across other platforms. The go-to-market time is accelerated with hybrid mobile app development.

You can deliver a native app experience

One of the often-cited misconceptions about hybrid app development is that it cannot deliver a native app-like experience. However, the truth is far from it. It is possible to deliver a native app-like performance with hybrid app development. In hybrid app development, the framework borrows widgets, components, animations, and similar elements from the native app development library. A wrapper is applied to the elements which act as a bridge between the hybrid development framework and the native platform. This helps in making the user feel “at home in the hybrid app. The fact is, the user usually does not bother about the underlying development framework. What they expect is the app to behave in a certain way. They expect the controls and buttons — basically, the interface fashioned as in a native platform. Hybrid app development provides for that without any deficiency by adhering to each of the platform’s design guidelines.

It is easy to access talent

Hybrid app development relies largely on HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. These are programming languages for which there is no dearth of talent. There is a growing pool of talent from which you can easily assemble a team of app developers. If assembling a team of developers is difficult, you can always count on a mobile app development company that will have the right talent under its wings. The easy access to talent ensures that app development does not stop for want of workforce availability.

It saves a lot of money

Of all the benefits that hybrid app development offers, the biggest of them all is cost savings. When we say cost-savings, it is not the overall development costs that we are referring to. Instead, hybrid mobile app development saves costs in multiple aspects.

First, you have to hire only a few developers who are well-versed in common programming languages to build the app. This makes it easy to hire talent at affordable costs.

Second, you don’t need separate teams to build apps for multiple platforms. Maximum code reuse ensures that the work of a single team is translated into multiple apps across platforms.

Third, the app development happens at a rapid pace which drastically reduces the time-to-market and the cost that is attached to it.

Hybrid apps deliver superior performance

Most businesses shy away from hybrid app development because they are skeptical about the hybrid app’s performance. The truth is, hybrid apps can deliver superior performance compared to native apps.

Gmail, Twitter, Instagram are all built using hybrid app development frameworks. Their performance is a testimony to the efficacy of hybrid mobile app development.

Since hybrid apps use a single code base, it helps eliminate unnecessary codes that can slow down the app’s performance. Also, the whole mobile app user experience can be focused and maintained uniform across all platforms. At the same time, it can also provide the native experience that users are keen about.

Considering all these factors, it can be rightly concluded that apps built using hybrid frameworks deliver a superior app performance.

Few downsides to know before opting for a hybrid app

Developing a hybrid app might seem like the perfect solution for most of the problems your business could be facing. However, there are some downsides that one ought to know before vesting all their resources into it.

A limited user interface

As mentioned earlier, hybrid apps reuse a vast portion of code. As a result, the user interface may not look and feel exactly as how a native app would look like. Despite the use of native app libraries and toolkits, this deficiency is something that cannot be entirely eliminated. However, with time the differences are being blurred.

Missing out on the platform’s complete potential

This downside is specific to iOS which has a very proprietary user interface, app controls, and platform performance. Apple devices boast of hardware and software that are specifically designed to work together and deliver maximum performance. When cross-platform app development is thrown into the mix, it may not able to utilize the platform’s complete potential. This is also due to the sharing of a common code base.

The inferior performance of resource-heavy apps

Hybrid apps are best in instances where the app does not demand too many resources – be it memory or hardware. In instances where a vast amount of resources are required, like camera, GPS, accelerometer, etc. it could lead to inferior performance of the app. This is because the app is not specifically engineered for the device and is created as an umbrella app to work in any condition. The lack of specialization could sometimes lead to compromised performance.

In a nutshell

Hybrid app development offers a clear path to scaling your mobile app across multiple platforms in an easy manner. It spares the business from the need to hire and maintain additional resources. With codebase reuse, it ensures that the effort and resources invested once can be repurposed multiple times to yield maximum RoI. Also, hiring talent for hybrid app development is easier since there is a huge talent pool that can be tapped from a regional and global level. The icing on the cake is, hybrid apps can deliver superior performance.

All said it is highly recommended to double down on hybrid app development